tv [untitled] December 30, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PST
the driveway, and this is really interesting because we think about low emissions cars as being really important for maybe climate change but they also might be important for breast cancer because when fuel is burning and you guys are familiar with chemicals that, you know, come bust, lower emissions vehicle, one that's more efficient may reduce these pah's in our air and especially in urban areas reduce exposures to those compounds which is really pornts, so thinking about hybrid or electric, we're all lucky enough to take public transit and reduce those overall exposures or -- yeah?
>> i believe so, is that true? yes, my science advisors, that's why they're here. >> [inaudible]. >> yeah. there are a lot of carcinogens in diesel exhaust, yeah. >> [inaudible]. >> well, you're still seeing an oil that combusts, some of them we know burn more cleanly than others but if it's combusting, you end up with productions of combustion, it may not be better for pollution on the other side, depending on how clean the air burns and that's a theme we end up talking about a fair bit unfortunately is that bio doesn't always mean
it's safer, it can, it can definitely mane we're reducing destruction of greenhouse gases but it can still make bad things outs of good ingredients if you know what i mean, another outdoor thing is to reduce your reliance on household pesticides so the active ingredients can be of concern, the pesticide itself, but most pesticide companies done label what are called the inert ingredient, that's the one that's not doing the pest killing per se, they can still really be bad chemicals, endocrine sdrukt tersest can be there, your baby crawls on your lawn, those exposures are out there, going with integrated pest management, beneficial species and doing these kinds
of things in public parks and school yards ask things like that where, you know, you might be catching a larger catch man of land can be really important, so that is the healthy home tour and now we're going to go beyond the home into the healthy world tour and these are kind to have ways that the choices that we make as individuals or in our policies shape a healthier, safer world. so, we've talked very briefly about moving the markets along and i want to talk about that for just a moment more, so we have two major market-based campaigns with the breast cancer fund, the campaign with safe koz meats and cans, not cancer, they target the makers of products who are more agile than laws, it can take decades to pass a good law, we saw those in changes of health care, what year were we starting to talk about revising
our health care policies, i think it was 93 and it was 2008 before there was passage of a law so it can take decades and dozens of years, but if we ask for safer products, the market can turn on a dime. in 2007-2008, everyone started talking about bpa in plastics, by 2009, bpa-free plastics were everywhere, so can, not cancer is getting bpa out of food cans and they chased a huge success this year when campbell's soup said we're going to take the bpa out, we're waiting for a timeline from them and waiting for them to replace bpa with something safer, taking that first step was huge, even more significant perhaps is the campaign for safe cosmetics which has been around for about 10 years saying that -- getting
johnson & jn -- johnson saying we're going to get carcinogens first out of our baby products across the whole world and that's really significant because they found formaldehyde in baby's johnson shampoo a few years ago, they tested it a few yearser later and found that johnson & johnson has taken it out of their products in china and other countries but not in the united states, well, if you can do it in one country, why can't you do it in all of them, doesn't everybody deserve safer baby shampoo no matter where they live? that put a lot of pressure on them because the consumers said we don't want those things in our products and the change happened and now they have a plan with timelines and clear
transparent goals to get those chemicals out of their products. it might be a little slower than we'd all like as consumers but it's moving in the right direction and getting one major company to move put a lot of pressure on those other companies if they want to maintain their credibility, so we're seeing safer shampoo products, we want to pass laws. >> radiation is the longest and best studied exposure link to breast cancer and what can we do about that, some radiation is naturally occurring, but we know that since 1980, radiation exposures for the average person have doubled and most of that is probably due to a 600 % increase in medical radiation,
we're being exposed to a lot more radiation from medical tests, sometimes that's the only option, it's worth that added risk because the alternative is really dangerous sometimes, but we want to ensure those scans and those medical imaging tests are the most appropriate, are at the right dose, especially for kids are a lot of times, they don't know how to scale down for a child-size body and the machines may not calibrate or have clear directions on how to make that happen so in our own lives, we can ask our health care provides, are there safer alternative, mri or ultrasounds for doing this test, and then if you have kids and they need a test, ensure and ask questions about the safest dose
and if they have machines that can calibrate to kids, and then we have to see these changes with the laws so if fda has proposals out for medical imaging around kids so you know how to downsize a radiation dose for kids who is smaller, their physical size is narrower, and also to make machines more accountable and more clear in how they work. >> [inaudible]. >> it's very low doses but that's an excellent question and i thought somebody would probably ask that. so, the united states preventative services task force in 2009 came out with a proposal to revise guidelines saying that perhaps women aged
40 to 50, there's no cost benefit really for that age group in terms of having mammogram of average risk, so recommended that women start mammography at age ao where the benefits really out weigh the risk, you don't have 40 years left in your life span at that point perhaps, you have 30, you're at a less vulnerable stage of life so there are a lot more benefits for life, your breast cancer risks are higher, so you know, the age 40 to 50, there's still a lot of debate about that and women need to discuss this with their own health care providers, but recent research has found that women who are at high risk of breast cancer because of braque of mutation who then screening at earlier and earlier ages may
be particularly vulnerable to radiation, so for them, alternatives to radiation based screening need to be, you know, used either in lieu of or in addition to and that's a very personal decision and a medical decision, but that added risk for those women who are already at higher risk from the very -- the detect is a really important issue, so does that answer your question? >> [inaudible]. >> awesome, okay, so schools, i've talked about some changes that can happen at schools but the reason we wanted to highlight this is because we can talk about federal laws, about state laws and it can feel daunting to think about getting involved in legislation at that level, although we try to make that easy for most to do by signing on to online actions and stuff, but for parents with kids, changing policies at schools can be an
accessible thing, joining pta's or talking to the school board about having integrated pest management so kids aren't exposed to pesticides on playgrounds, that's been successful. there's a huge movement to get safer, healthier foods into schools and they just revised the school lunch guidelines, but also you could go organic, you could go local and there are schools in berkeley and in the bay area really making some amazing strides and ensuring safer food practices, universities could do the same thing and that would be huge because that's such a large population as well. cleaning products in the schools, don't we want particularly these little kids who are more vulnerable to be less exposed to the kinds of cleaning product chemicals that might not be on the labels of those products being used, so schools can be a really
targeted place and an accessible place for people to see change happen. there's a network there, hopefully you have like-minded parents to work with around the community as well. so, agriculture, pesticides, you know, we talked about going organic in the kitchen, but changes to policies around pesticides can help reduce exposures, not just for the people consuming the food but for workers, for their kids, for farmers and their kids, and it flows into the air and water and that's pretty substantial, you can advocate for local farmer's markets with locally grown pesticide foods, so there's some things you can do at the home, we're super lucky because almost every neighborhood in san francisco has a farmer's market, you can grow your own food, test your
soil first, local cosmetic pesticide laws have passed in counties and municipalities to reduce the use of pesticides in parks and public areas and then really important is asking the environmental protection act si which is our federal agency that regulates pesticides to look at how chemicals affect breast development in route row and other developments to ensure that pesticides don't have that effect on breasts and mammary grands and animals and that's not happening right now, you would think we would test comb cal effects on breast tissue, generally not happen ining the way it needs to so that's a wonky solution but a super important one. >> [inaudible]. >> yes?
>> you cannot really boil to kill it? >> so, it's always good to wash your fruits and vegetables but a lot of the pesticide residues don't just wash off, they are in the food, deeper than just the surface, or they adhere really strongly, so you can get some residue off by washing but a lot of it, if pesticides are used, you can't get it all off unfortunately, so that's kind of a downer answer, but, sure. so, it actually segways very well into this next point is that we have to back up and have comprehensive laws that ensures all chemicals are safe, there are 80 thousand synthetic chemicals register ined the market that doesn't include all pesticides or chemicals used in cosmetics and cleaning products so there are tons of them.
they're often regulated by different federal agencies, the fda regulates cosmetics, the environmental protection agency, pesticides and most synthetic chemicals but it's all over the place, one chemical might be regulated by any number of agencies, you have to step back and say we need to make sure all chemicals are safe and they're screened carefully, the european union did this, at least there's movement in that direction, the united states has not yet done this. so, the law that currently regulates chemicals was passed two years after i was born and i'm sorry but i think a lot has changed in the world about what we know about chemicals and
what chemicals are used in the duration of most of my lifetime so we could change the laws so that new knowledge is integrated in how we screen chemicals for safety. today we think about 84 thousand chemicals are out there and about 1 thousand more are added each year and most of these, we don't have any human health data for, 90%, no human health data at all and hundreds of these are in our bodies, we know from studies, so we need to pass comprehensive legislation, a couple of weeks ago, tony testified in front of the environment and public works committee on why we need to pass and get the safe cosmetics out there on the floor of that senate, he did a fantastic job and i stole this off the video which is archiving, you can watch it, and this act would call for
quick action on the chemicals of greatest concern, would increase access to basic health and safety information on chemicals, would use the best science to assess safety, so not old science but new science, would seek to protect vulnerable populations like we talked about way back when, right, prenatally and in pregnancy, those ones that are maybe more vulnerable to chemical exposures and also to reduce exposures in communities with unfair burden of exposures, we know that very often, poor communities, communities of color, communities with less resources are exposed to higher levels of chemicals so we have to reduce that unfair burden because they already have enough unfair burden, so that calls for some comprehensive changes and we want to see those happen. the senate is not likely to reconvene and vote on this bill because we are winding down of
course with this legislative session and this particular administration in terms of senates turning over, they're all -- most of them are up for re-election, house is turning over -- about half of them are up for re-election and of course presidential election as well, and so it is very likely of course that this will be reintroduced after all of those changes take effect and hopefully we'll have garnered some support and move forward, so we'll keep sounding that drum beat but tlt be on pause until after january when the new add m*ins -- administrations get all in place, so the problem, this can be really overwhelming, especially if you have not spent a lot of time thinking about this, but i think one of the solutions is just to start with one thing at a time and pick something that resonates for you, whether it's your food
or you have kids and you just want to focus on making sure that -- what they're using and taking in is safer, or if it's an area of your life with regard -- we'll talk about this somehow with the fire department or your fire stations or your fire houses or whatever, also reach out to the breast cancer funds, we love questions, we love working with people, we're here to be your resource so don't hesitate to get in touch with us, that's what we're for and work with other people, it's easier to make something happen if you have that social support of someone else egging you on and whether it's in your home and you kind of get it collective of people to make these changes and commit or out there in your community, in your schools or in the world at large. so, we are jumping now to a place that might be familiar and homeward for some of you which is fire stations, i know
not everybody that works with the fire department is currently spending time in fire houses, but that's one place where some changes could happen, you could decide you're not going to do canned foods for your meals for instance, so we kind of wanted to see if there were other ideas of station-based or fire department at large kinds of changes that could be easy to implement, low cost and exciting where you could see change, and i have in the corner here a link to the sf approved list which is sf approved list .org because san francisco passed the nation's first precautionary purchasing ordinance which means that in the ideal, product that is are safer are what's purchased for all city institutions and city agencies and offices, so this
approved list has the list of like light bulbs and commuters and cleaning products and stuff like that, toilet paper, you know, that are either less toxic or less straining of resources and so that approved list can be one of the tools that you can use in fire houses, in this office, probably a lot of that's already happening, and across all of san francisco offices and agencies. so, any ideas before we open for questions about little things in the fire houses that you would want to see happen or commitments that you can make in those spaces? yes? >> [inaudible]. i probably don't need a microphone, but -- >> they need it. >> maybe i need to turn it on. it's on. can you hear me?
okay. janet, as articulated by a couple of people already, one of our issues is diesel exhausts in the fire houses and cal ocean does require that we have exhaust extractors and over the years that i have been in the fire department, those extractors have used sometimes and haven't worked other times, i have heard if you have double ventilation, if you can open both doors in the fire houses, you are no longer required to have diesel extractor, do you know if that's true, and would that [inaudible] your concern about [inaudible]. >> i have to admit, i live in new york state so i'm not quite as familiar with all of the local laws, but i do know that there are concerns that if you don't have the double extractors, you don't do the
full filtering, that there still is residue. i don't know the particulars of what you're using so i want to be very careful. in terms of would it ellay my concerns if you have means that should be getting things out into the air, in terms of the safety of your internal fire house if i understand your question, not really, but certainly whatever you can do is best and i think one of the things connie alluded to, first of all, is you do what you can and you start every step one step at a time, okay, it's important to be doing frequent testing of your air though if you have concerns to make sure that whatever your systems are, whether they are the legally mandated or the extra steps that you've put in place or the ways ta you've figured out to get around things that you make sure it's your lives, it's your
children's lives na you're doing the most, so i would recommend local testing as much as possible. i don't know the particulars, okay, for what you're really doing. >> no, if you don't use the filters, there's going to be residue, yeah. >> and that would be dust and air, so the ventilation may reduce the air -- clefs in -- levels in the air, but it would settle into dust, so you want to test the dust and the air, and kind aof what you said makes me think of another point, curiosity is really important and if something raises a question for you and makes you curious or makes you have a question, ask those questions because that's how we find the kind of practical information of, you know, the levels from the testing about
what works, what doesn't, what really is necessary, what helps, what doesn't help, and so, you know, if a question keeps coming up, trust that. >> the other aspect that's in your question, if i understand again, can we get away from some of the filtering if we're getting it up in the air. that might make your local environment fine, but you're exposing the rest of the world to higher levels, so i would urge you to think both very, very locally which is really critical, especially for you all who are exposed to so many by-products of all kinds of con yo*n. >> and in terms of monitoring air, can you tell me, if we were to do it individually just out of our need to know, try to
get the department to monitor the air, can you tell me -- >> i think this would be a great question for rachel, she's done a lot of oil and soil sampling and monitoring and she's familiar with the labs that work in this area and would be able to give you a lot of support and help. >> thank you. >> okay. >> so, shall we open it to wider questions. we have about 10, 15, 20 minutes. >> so, this may sound a little weird to come from someone with the breast cancer fund but i want to say everything that connie said could be breast cancer but it could also be loads of other diseases so what she's talking about really is not just concerns about one of the very worst diseases to which too many of us succumb, but we're also talking about
neurodegenerative diseases, asthma, developmental disorders, other reproductive -- infertility, miscarriage, all kinds of other disorders, so horrible as breast cancer is, it's really one in a whole spectrum are affected by these chemical processes. i wanted to add that. >> hi. one thing i thought would be really good to have within fire house iss to get rid of antibacterial soap which often contains triclocan, its said it is related to muscle weakness in animal studies so that would be something firefighters would be thinking about and also is related to of course cardiovascular problems for animals and cardiovascular diseases with regard to firefighters so just to get rid of antibacterial soap which doesn't work better than plain
old soap and water. fire stations in california have much higher levels in their dust than do california residences or other kinds of industries like electronic breakdown industry or airplane industry, so you have high levels of this flame retardant in fire station, i don't think anybody knows where that's coming from but it would be interesting to do some kind of studies trying to figure out the sources of these so-called fire retardants, there is not enough in these chairs to stop fire, sitting on this chair would be like sitting on a bunch of geographic, be really uncomfortable and cost a lot, so i think there's a lot of interesting thing that is can happen in the fire department. i thank the breast cancer fund
because i learned a lot from your presentation, i work at common bhaoel and we do a three day intensive training on breast cancer and environmental health and we want to work with you all to develop a training with the breast cancer fund on those chemicals that firefighters are specifically exposed to nr the course of feting a fire which has to do with insulation and houses, diesel and so on so i hope we can work together with that in the future. >> any questions? yes? het her bring the mike phone to you. >> why -- when you were talking about the cans and the bpa exposures, why did